Shoes on the Danube @ Budapest, Hungary

9 Replies

Budapest Hungary

These rusty metal shoes on the Danube bank near the parliament building in Budapest is a memorial to the holocaust victims of World War II. The memorial is more subtle as opposed to others with intense visual statement that depict skinny malnourished bodies overlaying on top of each other, yet the story behind the shoes is just as horrifying.  
Shoes on the Danube, Budapest Hungary 2
The Jews were forced onto the banks of the Danube and were shot to death by members of the Arrow Cross Party of Hungary which modeled after the Nazi Party.  The river took care of disposing the bodies while the shoes were the only remnants left.

The Danube River today dazzles with magnificent architectures such as the Buda Castle and the parliament building by its side, which is a stark contrast to the dark piece of history which too seems to dazzle as a constant reminder to the ghastly past.

Shoes on the Danube, Budapest Hungary 3
Shoes on the Danube, Budapest Hungary 1

Shoes on the Danube, Budapest Hungary 4




  1. laurie27wsmith

    What a haunting tribute. The thing that sticks with me about the Holocaust were the images of rooms stacked floor to ceiling with spectacles and dentures. Terrible times indeed.

      1. laurie27wsmith

        It was creepy. I saw the rooms when I was a boy in England. There was always something about WW2 and the holocaust on at the movies on a Saturday morning. The footage showed room after room of suitcases, shoes, clothing, huge boxes of gold and jewellery, gold teeth, artificial limbs, women’s hair in huge bales. Things like that stay with a boy.

  2. Mike

    Thank you so much for sharing this, KJ. I’ve studied WWII a good portion of my adult life. So, I recognized the shoes the second I saw that. And as you mentioned there are some very graphic memorials in different places around the world in memory of the war. I do really like memorials in general that do offer some sort of visual shock in that it will always be a constant reminder of what we never want to do again or allow again. Good post 🙂

    1. KJ @

      Wow. Is WWII a particular fascination to you? I have come to understand WWII and the holocaust that comes inherently linked with it much more after visiting Europe. It’s intriguing to me even though it is definitely one of Europe’s darkest history.

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